Documents link winning company with developer’s relative
Days after Shiv Infra Vision Pvt. Ltd. won the majority of votes for the redevelopment of Andheri’s Annanagar, Vitthal-Rakhumai and Kasam Nagar project, documents have emerged linking the company with relatives of a blacklisted developer. The relatives had joined hands with L&T Realty but could not officially compete as the latter backed out of the project.
Prithvijeet Chavan, one of the directors of Shiv Infra Vision Pvt. Ltd., had joined hands with Saurabh Shailesh Mehta to be on the board of Virtual Construction Pvt. Ltd. from September 24, 2018. Mr. Mehta is the son of Shailesh Mehta, whose company Sunshine Builder and Developers was blacklisted in June 29, 2015.
Saurabh Mehta formed LTR SSM Private Limited along with L&T Realty to compete in this redevelopment project. Following reports about the blacklisted developer entering the redevelopment project through the back door published by The Hindu, L&T Realty backed out of the project. Its election symbol, the autorickshaw, was then given to Shiv Infra Vision Pvt. Ltd. According to SRA sources, the move could be challenged in court.
Virtual Construction Pvt. Ltd. was purchased from a company called Kakaria Housing. According to documents with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Chavan and Mr. Mehta became directors of Virtual Construction a day before the deadline for filing applications by companies interested in executing the redevelopment project.
The documents indicate similar addresses for Virtual Construction and Kakaria Housing. Ujwal Kakaria, a senior partner with Kakaria Housing, told The Hindu he had sold the company to Mr. Chavan and Mr. Mehta. “I have no stake in the Andheri project. Also, Virtual had zero transactions. We have sold it. If you want any more details you can get them from them directly,” Mr. Kakaria said. Mr. Chavan reportedly was in New Delhi at the time of going to press.
“He (Mr. Mehta) has direct links with Shiv Infra’s owner, through another company. Is it a coincidence? Incidents such as changing the election symbol and giving it to this company and allegations of malpractice, point to the need for a detailed inquiry,” said a source. The ₹5,000-crore redevelopment project was stuck in controversy for years after it was linked with the alleged Maharashtra Sadan scam that is currently under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate. It was also linked to former Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who was in jail for more than a year and is now out on bail.
The slum was earlier to be redeveloped by M/s K.S. Chamankar Enterprises, which was terminated on June 19, 2017 over its alleged links in the Maharashtra Sadan scam. On September 15, 2017, Mr. Somaiya had written Additional Chief Secretary (Housing) seeking permanent disqualification of M/s K.S. Chamankar Enterprises from this redevelopment project on the basis of investigations in to the alleged scams against them. On November 28, 2017, the termination order was modified to bar all blacklisted developers or entities associated with them.